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Comedy Night

Joel Chasnoff A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Fights Hezbollah

Sunday, March 4, 2012 7:00 pm

Houston Hillel Student Center Ida & William Zinn Building 1700 Bissonnet


Comedy Night

Joel Chasnoff

A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Fights Hezbollah

Event Co-Chairs Mark Hochstein

Ed Septimus

Comedy Night Underwriters* Ellen and Richard Lowe Janet and Elton Lipnick Shirley and Alan Cohn Phyllis and Aron Frank Michele and Bob Goodmark Bonnie and Mark Hochstein Sandy and Richard Jackson Leah Stolar and Bruce Kessler

Helen and Andy Spector Edith and Bob Zinn Karol and Daniel Musher Linda and Jerry Paine Leslie and Russ Robinson Barbie and Lennie Roth Lisa and Michael Sachs Susan and Ed Septimus Andrea Stolar and David Vener

Event Committee Marian Daum Fredi Franks Sandy Jackson Beverly Levinson

Muriel Meicler Sharon Mellon Karol Musher Lennie Roth Marlene Rubin

Rozanne Rubin Susan Septimus Roger Sofer Leah Stolar David Vener *As of printing


Houston Hillel Board of Directors Ed Septimus President Marlene Rubin 1st Vice President Ellen Lowe Fredi Franks Lennie Roth David Vener Vice Presidents

Max Blankfeld Michael Duke Kelli Cohen Fein Rabbi Robert Haas Bonnie Hochstein Sandy Jackson Ben Gold (Baylor Med) Beverly Levinson Dani Marco (Rice) Muriel Meicler

Andy Priesman Secretary

Steve Moore Jeff Pozmantier Michael Sachs Richard Schechter Susan Septimus Daniella Singer (UH) Roger Sofer Helen Spector Leah Stolar Robin Susman Ronnie Yambra

Mark Hochstein Treasurer

Houston Hillel Advisory Committee Adam Brackman Gary & Debby Cortes Marian Daum Linda Davis-Blumenfeld Dan Goldman Karol Musher

Esther Polland Gloria Ribnick Irene Shaw Marilyn Shaw Gary Swartz Sharla Wertheimer Robert Zinn

Past Presidents

Richard Brochstein Max Goldfield z�l Lenny Holzband David Jacobson Alan Levin Daniel Musher Karol Musher

Rabbi Kenny Weiss Executive Director

Tamara Marks-Moses Director of Jewish Life

Ron Nodler Jerry Paine Daniel Pickelner Immediate Past President Marilyn Shaw Larry Smith Gary Swartz Alvin Zimmerman

Barbara Dryer Administrator

Rabbi Amy Weiss Director of Food & Nutrition


Joel Chasnoff

A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Fights Hezbollah

Joel Chasnoff is a stand-up comedian and writer with stage and screen credits in eight countries, and author of the comic memoir The 188th Crybaby Brigade (Simon and Schuster), about his year as a combat soldier in the Israeli Army. On tour, Joel was the warm-up act for Jon Stewart and Lewis Black of The Daily Show. Joel recently returned from a USO Comedy Tour of Japan and Korea entertaining American Marines. He’s supplied his voice to numerous cartoons and has performed at more than five hundred colleges, clubs, and Jewish conferences across North America, Israel, and Europe. Joel’s book, The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Fights Hezbollah, is a hilarious and poignant account of Joel’s service in the Israeli Armored Corps. A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically, calls Crybaby Brigade “A great tale, a Jewish Jarhead. It didn’t make me want to join the Israeli Army, but it made me very glad Joel did, so he could bring us back such a funny, thoughtful, and poignant story.” A portion of all proceeds from Joel’s book and stand-up performances is donated to Joel’s charitable foundation, Project Elijah. Most recently, Project Elijah sent one hundred low-income New York City schoolchildren to the circus. Joel lives in New York.


Connections

to Jewish life on Houston’s campuses take many forms. For the guys pictured to the right, Andy Toubin, Ed Septimus, David Vener, Rich Abramowitz, Phil Rivers and Bob Livitz, it means providing invaluable help with the grills during Houston Hillel’s Welcome Back BBQ. “Playing in Houston Hillel’s High Holy Day services has been a truly amazing experience for me,” Tracy Jacobson, a recent Rice graduate who majored in bassoon performance, recently wrote to Rabbi Kenny Weiss. “I’ve loved sharing my art with the Jewish community here in Houston. When I first moved here from New Jersey, the invitation from Rabbi Kenny to play at Houston Hillel was what I needed to start feeling like an active part of the Houston Jewish Community.” Also providing music for the High Holy Days was Rice freshman Maya Stokes, seated at the piano behind Tracy in the picture to the right, UH junior Hope Cowan, who played harp during Yom Kippur, and Rice graduate Andrea Leyton-Mange, who returned for her sixth year as Houston Hillel’s High Holy Day soloist. Below, Houston Hillel’s Kosher Chili Cook-off team of Rosalie Berg (Rice) Abigail Axel (Rice), Jonathan Berg (Rice), Bryan LeBouf (UH) and Max Bricker (Rice) display an assortment of Houston Hillel t-shirts.


Unique Opportunities

for Jewish engagement happen every day, such as when Houston Hillel brought Israeli pop star Shira Gavrilov for a very special evening concert at Rice University this past fall.

Houston Hillel’s weekly Shabbat dinners take place at the Hillel Student Center and, for Houston’s Jewish twentysomethings, at participants’ homes. Pictured below, students enjoy Shabbat dinner prior to hearing comedian Benji Lovitt, whose appearance was sponsored by Ellen and Richard Lowe. Bryan LeBouf, a UH student, said of his experience with the Community Health Fair, “Usually when I volunteer, I’m assigned a job that involves setting up or moving things, and I don’t get to see the end result or those impacted. However, at the Community Health Fair I was able to be more involved and actually interact with people. Meeting those who were directly benefitting from the event made volunteering an even more meaningful experience.” Pictured are Tamara Marks-Moses, Bryan, Hannah Bosley, Abigail Axel and Noah Levine. Below right, Rice juniors Abigail Axel and Hannah Bosley lead services at Rice University President David Leebron’s home. The annual Shabbat at the President’s home creates a unique bond between students, Jewish alumni and faculty. Each week Houston Hillel sponsors free lunches on at least two campuses. Pictured below enjoying lunch in Houston Hillel’s Student Lounge in the University of Houston A.D. Bruce Religion Center are Sarah Stone, Hope Cowan, Mitch Cohen, Tamara Marks-Moses, Jocelyn Wedelich, Alex Brown and Paul Brokhin.


Houston’s Jewish 20somethings

find a home with Jewstontexas, Houston Hillel’s community for grad students and young professionals between the ages of 21 and 29. Jewstontexas offers monthly Shabbat dinners, Jews & Brews happy hours, intramural sports teams, book clubs, cultural events and the support of Houston Hillel - Houston’s only organization solely dedicated to engaging Jewish college students and twentysomethings. Jewstontexas.org serves as a portal for new arrivals to Houston, while the Jewstontexas Facebook Group enables participants to connect with each other, learn about Jewstontexas events, and explore opportunities in the Houston Jewish community. Tandy Westmiller, pictured to Andrea Starkschall’s left, writes of her experience with Jewstontexas, “I was president of my synagogue youth group, active in NFTY and worked at Jewish summer camps, but despite my intention to continuing to be active in the Jewish community after college, I could not find a Jewish organization that effectively targeted my age group. I found myself with few Jewish friends or activities where I lived. It wasn’t until moving to Houston two years ago and getting involved with Jewstontexas that I felt part of a Jewish community. Through monthly Shabbat dinners, weekly Jews & Brews happy hours, and many events throughout the year, I feel connected to Judaism in a way that I have been searching for since high school. I wish I had found organizations like Jewstontexas earlier, and hope that more young adults are able to experience this valuable program.” At a Baylor College of Medicine Ethics Lunch, Dr. Ben Musher, an oncologist on the BCM faculty and pictured at right facing the camera, helped the students envision their future career paths through a Jewish prism. Rice MBA student Adam Brand writes, “Houston Hillel has done a fantastic job in putting together luncheons for the Jewish Rice MBA students. These have been great events for Jewish MBA students to connect with many Jewish business leaders in the Houston area. As more Jewish professionals join the Rice MBA program, these events will be a great way for MBA students from all over the world to connect with our Jewish leaders.” The recent MBA lunch pictured below right featured community leader Ed Schreiber, who led a discussion about the insurance industry. Front row: Marco Baltazar, Etan Golubtchik, John Levene, Scott Jacobson, Michael Pariser, Ed Schreiber; back row: Nathaniel Besser, Rabbi Kenny Weiss and Adam Brand.


Congratulations to Houston Hillel for yet another year of service to the college students of Houston Friends of Houston Hillel


Mazel tov to Dr. Ed Septimus, the entire Board and Rabbi Kenny Weiss for another year of exciting development and progress with Houston Hillel.

We are very proud of you.

Alan and Diane Levin


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Congratulations to Hillel for all the work they do for our college students.

Rabbi Jack Segal

Rabbi Emeritus Beth Yeshurun Congregation

Congratulations to a great organization Best wishes for the future Elaine and Sam Merwin

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Houston Hillel We thank you for all that you do. Steve and Denise Moore Mike Moore


Mazel Tov to the entire Board and Houston Hillel on such a successful event. Andy and Elana Priesman

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Congratulations, Houston Hillel, for all of your wonderful work and successes in keeping Judaism alive and current in the lives of Jewish college students and young Jewish professionals.

Barbie and Lennie Roth


Chasnoff Comedy Night Program 2012